For a feast of zenga, please check out Seeing Zen by John Stevens on Amazon! A ground breaking and astounding book. View the Seeing Zen flyer
Rinzai’s descendants do not know Zen.
In front of Crazy Cloud, who dares to explain Zen?
For thirty years, on my shoulders I have carried
The weight of Shogen’s Red Thread Zen.
I am teaching you the gateway to essential Zen. Zen is endlessly discussed with empty phrases and pretentious words; all that effort goes on and on missing the mark…
Former Abbot of Murasakino Daitoku Zen Temple, Jun Ikkyu, world’s number one venerable priest.
THE ONE TRUE TASTE OF TEA
I share a sip of tea together with the spring wind and 10,000 peaks;
Then with my arms folded in my sleeves I contently stroll along the riverbank.
Sen No Rikyu (1522 – April 21, 1591) based his calligraphy on the original two verses from a poem by Kaiseki (Chieh-shih), a Zen Master of the late Sung. The complete original poem goes:
Namo Amida Butso, by Shinran, (May 21, 1173 – January 16, 1263)
Founder of Jōdo Shinshū Pure Land sect of Buddhism.
God and man in harmony
With boundless compassion
Form an irresistible power.
Composed by Oni
Onisaburo Deguchi, 1871-1948, teacher of aikido founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
An extraordinary pair of geese by master artist Sesshū Tōyō, (1420 – 1506)
I studied with Kobori Nanrei at Daitoku-ji when I lived in Kyoto. His delightful copy of 6 persimmons by Mu Ch’i is wonderful, a faithful reproduction both physically and spiritually.
Kannon by Junkyo, the 20th century nun who had her arms sliced off by a mad man when she was 17 . The inscription is one of our favorites, “Every day is a good day.” Signed, “Painted without hands by Junkyo.”
And here’s a portrait of the artist:
Jiun Sonja (1718-1804): “Every Day is a Good Day” is from the famous Zen Koan by 10th century master Unmon. Unmon said: “I do not ask you about fifteen days ago. But what about fifteen days hence? Come, say a word about this!” Since none of the monks answered, he answered for them: “Every day is a good day.”
Within the body, many mysteries
Within one’s body there are profound secrets
This monk has passed through the narrowest mountain paths to reach the northernmost seas,
and also has the experience of crawling through the lowest valleys.
If you want to find a safe place to pass your life,
Sit on the top shelf like a puppet!
The face of this one reminds me most of the face of the Bodhidharma imprinted on the rock from his cave in Shao-lin.
“I’ve got my eye on you…”
My painting finally came. It is wild…….a duck smashing into water his feathers flying , to the right, to the left….every which way. If you look at it quickly , you miss it……perfect composition, the still point (his eye) in the midst of flurry. It is totally alive.
One thing is for sure, the painter Li Shan was a genius. The painting itself is about 2 feet high by 2 1/2 feet long. It’s a monumental piece….needs lots of empty space around it.
Ishikawa Jozan, best known for the creation of the beautiful garden villa of Shisendo outside Kyoto, was also a master of calligraphy, among other things. He is mentioned in Hakuin’s autobiography Wild Ivy as a student of the Taoist who taught Hakuin a powerful method of healing.
Who says my mind is like the autumn moon?
Notes: This Sawaki Kodo Enso is masterful. I opened it and put it on the wall……welcoming its spirit with incense and fell right into meditation. It’s one of those pieces having seen, you feel happy you are collecting pieces. A real zen masterpiece…
“NOT ONE THING: ENSO”
Master Nakagawa Soen
Enso. A circle reveals its own meaning…
Perfection, completeness, a roundness of form.
It also delineates inside from outside, and binds space
within its boundaries, where opposites can play
…and life can find a meaning.